Featured News



Plenty of market uncertainty moving into August

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile

As we move into August, we would normally be seeing much higher consensus about expected U.S. corn and soybean yields. Nothing could be further from the truth for this unusual growing season in the U.S. For weeks many have called this a growing season of the “haves versus the have nots.” Consistent rains in June and early July in the eastern Corn Belt states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio have many producers expecting above average corn and soybean yields. Several of those rains were broad in coverage.  

Conversely, the northern Corn Belt states of Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota would be called the “have nots,” with poor yields, as they have consistently during June and July experienced numerous hot and dry periods of a week or more. Rains then followed, broad in scope and geographic coverage for several states, but severely lacking in significant amounts of rain of one inch or more.… Continue reading

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Summer ag law harvest

By Jeffrey K. Lewis, attorney and research specialist, Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law 

Did you know that Giant Panda Cubs can be as small as a stick of butter? A panda mother is approximately 900 times bigger than her newborn cub, which can weigh less than 5 ounces. This is like an 8-pound human baby having a mother that weighed 7,200 pounds — this size difference may explain why so many panda cubs die from accidentally being crushed by their mothers. However, not everything is doom and gloom for the Giant Panda. Chinese officials have officially downgraded pandas from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” Although the International Union for Conservation of Nature re-labelled, the Panda as “vulnerable” in 2016, China wanted to make sure that the population of its national treasure continued to grow before downgrading the panda’s classification. 

Although it seems as though pandas are thriving thanks to conservation efforts in China, not all animal species in China are so lucky.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 214 | Ohio State Fair & 100% Chance of Banter

In this special Ohio State Fair edition of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast powered by AgriGold, fresh off the Breeding Grand Drive, Matt has caught up with Emma Preston and Olivia Rinesmith, the outgoing and incoming Lamb & Wool Ambassadors. He also catches up with Dyllan Knoll of Huron County, who exhibits dairy cows at the fair. Dusty sends back a report from VanTilburg Farms in this month’s edition of the Ohio Field Leader Podcast. All of that plus “100% chance of banter” in this episode of the podcast!… Continue reading

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Using on-farm research to learn locally

By Alan Leininger, Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension — Henry County

Justin Morrill stated during his 1858 speech for proposing the land-grant act named after him: “We need careful, exact, and systematized registration of experiments — such as can be made at thoroughly scientific institutions.”

Since the installation of the land-grant system in 1862, there have be universities across the United States conducting experiments on a variety of agricultural topics. Disciplines such as animal science, agronomy, soil science, horticulture, and engineering are just a few areas in which these institutions, including The Ohio State University, have been trying to develop improved approaches of producing food, feed, and energy today.

At Ohio State and within Ohio State University Extension, research has moved from plot-scale years ago to conducting research on-farm today. This on-farm research not only serves to answer individual farmers’ questions, but is also part of larger research efforts to understand the impact of crop production practices on farm profitability and environmental impact.… Continue reading

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Ohio New and Small Farm College events set for 2021

By Tony Nye, Ohio State University Extension educator

Bringing small farms in Ohio to life is the theme of the New and Small Farm College program that has been offered to farm families since 2005. The program focuses on the increasing number of new and small farm landowners that have a need for comprehensive farm ownership and management programming.

The mission of the college is to provide a greater understanding of production practices, economics of land use choices, assessment of personal and natural resources, marketing alternatives, and the identification of sources of assistance.

The New and Small Farm College has three educational objectives:

  1. To improve the economic development of small farm family-owned farms
  2. To help small farm landowners and families diversify their opportunities into successful new enterprises
  3. To improve agricultural literacy among small farm landowners not actively involved in agriculture.

Since the program began, the New and Small Farm College has now reached over 1,175 participants from 57 Ohio counties representing almost 900 farms.… Continue reading

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Does pipeline installation have a lasting effect on crop yields?

By Steve CulmanTheresa Brehm, Ohio State University Extension

Numerous underground oil and gas pipelines have been installed through Ohio farmland over the past several years. This has left many growers wondering if this installation will have lasting impacts on their soils and crops.

Last fall, we collected soil and yield samples from 24 different farms impacted by pipeline installation in seven counties throughout Northern Ohio. The Rover, Utopia, and Nexus pipelines were targeted because of their recent installation, with each pipeline installed within the last 3 to 4 years. 

This shows yield data with each point representing a different field sampled. Negative values to the left of dashed red line indicate percent yield reductions over the pipeline relative to the non-impacted area. 

Grain crops like corn and soybeans were the primary focus. We sampled in two major zones for this study: the right-of-way (ROW) over the pipeline, also known as the easement area, as well as an adjacent, undisturbed area of the same field.… Continue reading

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Farm to cheese process highlights a love of dairy

By Matt Reese

For anyone who has met the Bohl family, it is readily apparent that they love their Jersey cows. And now, thanks to a unique partnership with Urban Stead Cheese, a growing population of Cincinnati and the surrounding region loves Bohl’s Jerseys as well. 

Donald “Dick” and Kay Bohl now work on the farm milking 220 Jerseys with their sons Kelly and Dusty and Dusty’s wife Amy. The family has farmed their land in southern Highland County for three generations and dairy is a way of life.

“I have been raising cattle and showing cattle for most of my life,” said Dusty Bohl. “We have a free stall barn with fresh bedding every other day with straw. Pens are scraped twice a day. We follow Ohio Department of Agriculture regulations and we are inspected every 5 to 6 months. We raise corn, beans and hay to feed the cows.… Continue reading

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Approachable cheese at Urban Stead

By Matt Reese

It has been a long road to get to making cheese “approachable” for Scott and Andrea Siefring-Robbins of Hamilton County.

Both share a family history including dairy production and a passion for good food. With breweries springing up in urban centers around the state showcasing their production process for customers to see first-hand, it seemed like a similar business model could be used for cheese.

“The light bulb hit for us when we were on a wine trip in California. We visited a cheesemaker and we had never seen cheese so approachable. It was a rural environment and people were visiting the manufacturing location and retail shop. It occurred to us we could do a version of that in an urban environment in Cincinnati,” said Andrea Siefring-Robbins, owner of Urban Stead Cheese. “We wanted to highlight the craft that goes into the cheese industry and, behind that, the dairy industry.… Continue reading

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Poll finds 10 best ice cream shops in Ohio

Nearly 15,000 ice cream lovers from throughout Ohio voted in Ohio Farm Bureau’s 3rd Annual Ohio Ice Cream Battle for their favorite go-to spot to cool off this summer with a cone, milkshake or banana split.

With nearly 27% of the overall votes, Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl in Muskingum County is the 2021 contest champion.

The informal survey was conducted on Facebook, and over 30 ice cream shops were represented in the final round.

Also making the Top 10 in this year’s Ohio Ice Cream Battle:

No. 2 Lil e’s Ice Cream, Union County

No. 3 Emma’s Frosty Kreme, Pike County

No. 4 Dietsch Brothers Ice Cream, Hancock County

No. 5 Cockeye Creamery, Trumbull County

No. 6 Jubie’s Creamery, Greene County

No. 7 Handel’s Ice Cream, Mahoning County

No. 8 Young’s Jersey Dairy, Greene County

No. 9 Whip-n-Dip, Ashtabula County

No.10 Toft’s Dairy & Ice Cream, Erie County

The Ohio Ice Cream Battle highlights the great tradition of Ohio Farm Bureau’s dairy farm families delivering high-quality milk for everyone to enjoy. … Continue reading

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African Swine Fever confirmed in the Dominican Republic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory has confirmed African swine fever (ASF) in samples collected from pigs in the Dominican Republic through an existing cooperative surveillance program.  

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has numerous interlocking safeguards in place to prevent ASF from entering the United States. Pork and pork products from the Dominican Republic are currently prohibited entry as a result of existing classical swine fever restrictions. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is increasing inspections of flights from the Dominican Republic to ensure travelers do not bring prohibited products to the United States. CBP will also be ensuring that garbage from these airplanes are properly disposed of to prevent the transmission of ASF.  

USDA is committed to assisting the Dominican Republic in dealing with ASF, is offering continued testing support, and will consult with them on additional steps or actions to support response and mitigation measures.… Continue reading

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HB 349 takes the next step eroding landowner rights with agriculture

By Matt Reese

On July 12, Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 52, which limits landowner’s abilities and opportunities to have wind and solar projects on their property. This is a concern, partly due to the precedent it sets — government taking of landowner rights without the consent of the landowner. 

Of greater concern for agriculture is the recently introduced House Bill 349, which takes a cue from SB 52 with direct agricultural application. HB 349 enacts “section 903.021 of the Revised Code to prohibit the construction of a new or modification by expansion of an existing concentrated animal feeding facility under certain circumstances.”

These circumstances as spelled out in the bill are:

      (1) The facility is located in the Maumee watershed.

      (2) The director [of agriculture] determines that, in the preceding calendar year, the spring load of total phosphorus exceeded eight hundred sixty metric tons and the total dissolved reactive phosphorus exceeded one hundred eighty-six metric tons for the Maumee river as specified in the 2015 western basin of Lake Erie collaborative agreement.Continue reading

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Buyer beware with solar

By Linda Bishop, Findlay

The Toledo Zoo parking lot solar array is a perfect example of how and where solar panels should be placed to get double duty out of an area that is necessary, but not beautiful. 

In western Ohio, 84 or more solar installations of about 1,000 acres each are being planned. This means that 84,000 acres that will be taken out of farm production. This will change the landscape of western Ohio for upwards of 50 years depending upon the lease terms which are non-negotiable upon signing.

The land agents use less than honest tactics to get land from owners, first by choosing out of area owners, then the elderly within the area. If they sign a deal with the solar company, there is a confidentiality clause in the contract so opposing neighbors will not find out. The impact to neighbors needs to be considered when rural neighbors will find their properties completely surrounded by solar panels. … Continue reading

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Get your waterhemp populations screened for herbicide resistance

By Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension State Weed Specialist, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2021-24

We have been screening a random sample of waterhemp populations for herbicide resistance over the past two years.  Herbicides used in the screen include mesotrione, atrazine, 2,4-D, fomesafen, and metolachlor.

Mark Loux OSU Extension Weed Scientist
Dr. Mark Loux, OSU Extension Weed Scientist

Results of our research show that it’s possible for Ohio waterhemp populations to have some level of resistance to one, several, or all of these herbicides.  Glyphosate is not included because we assume almost all populations are already resistant to this.  We are also part of a regional project that has been screening for dicamba and glufosinate resistance with populations that we supply, although none has been identified to date.  Our sample size has been small so far, so at this point we are looking to expand our screening to include waterhemp populations submitted by anyone in Ohio looking for more information about their response to herbicides. 

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation offering Action and Awareness grants

The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is currently considering applications from organizations addressing a variety of program areas within agriculture for its Action and Awareness grant program.

“We are proud to offer our Action & Awareness Grants each year to support local organizations as well as county Farm Bureaus in an effort to create positive, measurable impact throughout Ohio,” said Kelly Burns. Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation executive director. 

Through the grant program, the foundation funds programs in four core areas of giving:

• Education — Providing grants for professional development programs allowing individuals to advance their knowledge of agriculture, share ideas and improve people’s lives.

• Environment — Funding sensible solutions that contribute to a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable Ohio by focusing on increased care for land and water.

• Economic development — Capturing opportunities that build prosperity, create jobs and enhance the quality of life for Ohioans by funding projects that spur economic growth in local communities.… Continue reading

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Growing Women in Agriculture: An Empowerment Celebration

The Shelby County Growing Women in Agriculture committee is thrilled to bring back the Empowerment Celebration in 2021. The committee’s goal is to grow women involved in the agriculture community in our area. Since 2007 the number of women in agriculture has increased by 7% in the United States. With this evolving statistic in the industry, many new avenues for our community and state have developed in order to take advantage of these rising agriculture leaders. 

As a part of their efforts to grow the agriculture community in Shelby County would like to support local women in agriculture by holding our sixth annual “Growing Women in Agriculture, an Empowerment Celebration” event on Sept. 16, 2021, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, the early make and take session starts at 4:30 pm. The event will be held at St. Michael’s Hall, 33 Elm Street, in Fort Loramie. The evening will include a unique blend of educational and fun agriculture information, specifically targeted to the women in our community.… Continue reading

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Storage and freight costs

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Hot and dry weather is expected for the next week or two, but forecasts vary on how dry August will be. Any weather shift could shake up the market.

Debates continue if the areas where crops look great can make up for the northwest Corn Belt’s reduced yields due to persistent hot and dry weather. The market still has a premium price in place, if overall trendline yields are produced.

Some parts of China received 30 inches of rain over 2 days, but so far, it is unlikely to affect total production much as the corn grown in those flooded areas is not that significant. A concern might be that nearly 1 million hogs and chickens might have been lost in the region which could hurt demand.

Brazil has been battling a drought for several months and now some areas have had frost. Therefore, yields are trending lower, and Brazil is buying some corn from Argentina.… Continue reading

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Inter-seeding cover crops research

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA, Ohio Field Leader, a project of the Ohio Soybean Council and soybean check-off

There are many benefits cover crops offer when they are properly established. These benefits range from protecting soil, to reducing run-off of soil particles in an effort to retain nutrients, to increasing soil productivity and overall farm profitability. In some crop rotations, establishment is a challenge. Often, depending on the maturity of the cash crop, the establishment window is too late in the season to be successful for many of the species.

“Especially in a corn-soybean system, after the cash crop has been harvested for grain, it is often difficult to drill the cover crops and get sufficient growth,” said Sjoerd Duiker, Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics with Penn State University.  “Many have tried to establish a cover crop while the main crop is still growing in the field. Many times, the seeding applications are very inconsistent.

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2021-22 BEST season offers new opportunity

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) is announcing a new opportunity for the 2021-2022 BEST (Beef Exhibitor Show Total) program.

BEST is a youth development program of OCA that recognizes Ohio’s junior beef exhibitors for participation and placings through a series of sanctioned cattle shows that include showmanship competitions, educational contests, and leadership opportunities. BEST also includes a separate Buckeye Breeders Series (BBS) points division for registered steers and heifers that were bred, born and raised by an Ohio breeder.

New for 2021-2022 out-of-state juniors who purchase Ohio BBS cattle will be eligible to exhibit them at all BEST sanctioned shows, compete for points and over-all year-end awards. This change will provide Ohio breeders of BBS cattle increased marketing and recognition opportunities for their Ohio born registered cattle. Also, the one-time nomination fee for the Ohio breeder will be re-instated for their BBS eligible cattle that will be shown in the BEST.… Continue reading

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OCTA Summer meeting

It’s time to register for the Ohio Christmas Tree Association (OCTA) Summer Meeting to be held at Advent Christmas Tree Farm in Englewood, Ohio. The meeting will be September 10 and 11. 

The host of the meeting will showcase their business as a Christmas tree farm. Some of the highlighted presentations at the event will include Christmas tree entertainment options, Agritourism: Maximizing the potential on your farm, a newgrowers series and classes to receive recertification credits. Anyone interested in the summer meeting should contact theOCTA office by emailing Valerie Graham, Executive Director at val@ohiochristmastree.com

 or visit www.ohiochristmastree.com.… Continue reading

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